Are you or are you not the body?

This follows on from my previous post.

It is an observable fact that our direct experience alone does not provide us with sufficient evidence to say whether or not objects in the world arise solely from consciousness (ie. philosophical idealism), or whether consciousness is a product of the material word (eg. the human brain) which in turn perceives an image of that material world (ie. philosophical realism).


Not that these are the only two possibilities – there other theories that could also account for our present experience, and perhaps other explanations that our limited human minds are incapable of understanding – but for the purposes of this article we will not go into this.

The point is, from our direct experience alone, we do not know if what we call the body is solely an image that arises in our consciousness, or if that image is a representation of a real body somewhere outside our consciousness which in turn gives rise to consciousness.

To be continued here: Why does understanding the body matter?


5 thoughts on “Are you or are you not the body?

  1. You do know, that YOU are having the experience of the body. You know that it is not your neighbor, not your dog, not your mom. YOU are perceiving the body. But whatever in the body, if you put your attention on it, does that look at you, or do you look at it? Is your finger aware of you, or are you aware of your finger? Obviously, nothing you put your attention on is aware of you, you are aware of it. However, not the middle of your head, not your brain, not your consciousness, YOU are. So, who are you?

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    1. Yes, I also teach this way as there is a point to it – it helps remove the false identification with the body. However the underlying logic is problematic, namely that just because you can see something, it doesn’t mean that the something you see is not a part of you.

      To demonstrate this point you can do a thought experiment and imagine a large video camera with the lens mounted on a bendy neck that is able to swivel around and view itself, or part of itself.

      Experientially everything appears in awareness/consciousness, yes, but it’s false logic to extrapolate from that and say that means consciousness is primary. There are a couple of other problems too, but I won’t go into it here and have touched upon it in other blog posts.

      They way I teach is not based on belief or inference/logical deduction (which is often dodgy) but can be fully seen right here, right now. The wonderful thing about Freedom is that it’s not a special knowledge – all knowledge, like other objects in awareness, can come and go – it’s a removal of ignorance, a removal of a mistake and a removal of the suffering contingent upon that mistake.


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